5 Misperceptions in Software Testing

“Software tester means loser developer”

I had the chance to interview candidates for tester positions and they often shared that they were trained to be a developer. However, for some reasons they couldn’t find jobs as a developer, so they chose to be testers. They saw a testing job, as a temporary position before continuing following their dream job as a software developer. Why so? Well, there are many possibilities. However, it’s probably because they perceive testing as an easy, tedious task and doesn’t require coding skills.

The fact is that testing and software developing are two different jobs with different skill sets and mindsets. If you good at developing software, it doesn’t mean that you can become good testers. In other words, if you are a tester, it doesn’t mean you can’t become a software developer.

“Everyone can do software testing”

Many people perceive that testing is an easy, tedious job. No programming skills are required. What a software tester does is to sit in front of a computer, opens the application, clicks here and there to see if the application works. I’ve been in testing several years and I wish testing could be that simple. Actually, testing can be easy to be approached. However, approaching and doing the job and being good at it are different stories. Testing requires a wide range of skills and traits such as passion, creativity, observation, analytical, communication, debating and of course including coding skill. To some extent, Software Testing Services Provider can be considered as an art and of course, not everyone can be an artist.

“Manual testing is outdated. Now is the time of automated test”

In recent years, automation testing has become a hot topic. You may hear topic discussing about how manual testing is dying and automated testing is a new hero who saving or fixing the software testing world. Job ads are for automation engineers. Automation tool vendors keep promoting about their mighty tools, the tools can do everything or can replace a manual tester.

Automated test (or I should say automated check) and manual test are two different approaches which are used to solve different problems. While automated test is fit for regression test, repeated tasks, unit tests, manual testing are fitting for exploratory test, usability related test, etc. Automated test is becoming more and more powerful and showing its values, automated test /automation tool is not designed to replace testing.

“Software testing is a cost-center, not a profit-center”

While I don’t see much of this kind of misperception these days, it still exists. I still see many companies are putting focuses on software development because they believe they are having great developers who can write clean bug-free lines of code. Also, with the concept of “developer builds thing, tester breaks it” makes testing becomes less helpful. It is correct that software testing is a cost-center. The more we test, the more we cost. However, without testing, we may have to face sooner or later the bigger cost of re-call and fixing units shipped to customer, worse the cost to re-building the lost trust of customer to defective products or company reputation. Software testing is a cost-center, but it’s a necessary one.

“You missed bugs!”

Yes, this is one of the scariest phrases testers don’t want to hear from their bosses. This comes from the misperception that a software tester is the gatekeeper (or goalkeeper) whose job is to catch all defects from escaping to the end-user. Yes, we could catch all defects if we could apply all testing techniques, test approaches, types of tests, etc. And we could have enough time and money to do all that stuff.

No need to say, this is almost an impossible task when putting in the context of software development works these days where release dates are tightened and costs are cut.

Final thought:

Misperceptions in software testing are not necessarily bad things. They are just part of the learning process. We may mis-perceive things when we get along the way with software testing and we also could realize these misperceptions when we have more experiences in software testing. The most important thing for the tester is never stop learning and sharpen our saws.

 

 

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